Veterans Memorial Park Grand Forks Parks and Recreation Foundation

Grand Forks is one of the few cities in the state that does not have a Veterans Memorial Park, an outdoor gathering place large enough for veterans, military members, their families and friends to celebrate, recognize, remember, and honor the lives of those who are served in the United States Military.

While there are a couple of small statues around the city that recognize fallen heroes, there is not a formal place where veterans can gather to conduct Memorial Day and Veterans Day services or to celebrate Independence Day or the birthdays of our military service branches.

The Veterans Memorial Park is a place where the legacy of American military veterans can be recognized and honored. The Park, when completed, will represent all five active-duty United States Uniformed Services and their respective Guard and Reserve Units (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard).
Through the efforts of veterans, military members, and their families and friends and supporters, a Veterans Memorial Wall will be built on a six acre site located NW of the Columbia Mall and adjacent to the roundabout at 24th Ave. South and 34th Street.
The proposed Veterans Memorial Park will be large enough to allow people to celebrate, recognize, remember, and honor lives , will project the appropriate patriotic atmosphere, and allow families to feel a degree of privacy in which to meditate and reflect on their loved ones who have served.

The Veteran's Memorial Park campaign has a base goal of $960,000 (main structure to include pads for equipment and obelisks) and a challenge goal of $1.6 M (need for proposed design).

Through community philanthropy, members of a Veterans Memorial Park Committee will design, execute, and conduct a fundraising campaign to raise the necessary dollars to create and build the Park which will feature:

1. Five Obelisks representing each of the five branches of military service (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard).
2. An educational Memorial Granite Wall with laser-etched images to depict the American veteran role from the first wars and conflicts to the latest electronic warfare.
3. An anchor from the USS Kiska, a Navy ammunition ship that saw service during the Vietnam War
4. Memorial stones to honor loved ones who have served or are currently serving.
5. Park shelters and benches for meditation and reflection.
6. Future park development incorporating additional military equipment.

We are excited to announce the installation of the anchor from the USS Kiska, a Navy ammunition ship that saw service during the Vietnam War. The 18 foot anchor weighs roughly 18 tons and hung alongside the USS Kiska for 38 years. This marks the first installment at Veterans Memorial Park. Read the full story via Grand Forks Herald.

Photos via Grand Forks Herald

A SENSE OF PRIDE

Our community has a rich military tradition from the North Dakota National Guard's 164th Infantry dating back to 1885, the Grand Forks Air Force Base dating back to the 1950's and the thousands of community members who have served or are serving honorably in the military service branches throughout the world.

Veterans, military members, their families and friends will have a sense of pride in knowing the community cares, honors, and respects the veterans' sacrifices.

THE BENEFITS

  • Veterans, the community remembers and honors their service.
  • The community, which has a rich military tradition, cares and strongly supports what our armed forces have done for our community and country.
  • Visitors, the sacrifices our veterans have undergone for the freedoms we have.
  • The ability to instill a sense of patriotism and serve as an important educational tool for visitors, particularly our youth.
  • An opportunity for veterans, military members, family members, and friends to purchase Memorial Stones to remember, respect, and honor those who have served or are serving.
  • Along with the Memorial Stones, they can create a healing effect for veterans, military members, and their families and friends.

Brief History

The Veterans Memorial Park vision began with a veteran named Roger Westerso. Roger envisioned a park with a wall and various sculptures complemented by pillars representing all five branches of the military. A portion of his artwork was added to a Harley Davidson chopper, dedicated as the “Veterans Memorial Bike”. Don Purpur and John Hanson met at a Red River Valley Motorcyclists Show in 2010 where the Veterans Memorial Bike was on display.

They began a discussion on the importance of dedicating a Veterans Memorial Park in our community. This led to establishing a formal group dedicated to advancing this idea. Energized by veterans, local community members and veteran organizations, the vision gained momentum and the future location was secured.

Prominent support of the Grand Forks Park District, Grand Forks Parks & Rec Foundation, the Red River Valley Motorcyclists, the City of Grand Forks, veteran organizations and a number of local veterans will bring this vision into existence.

For more information on honorary & memorial naming opportunities, recognition of donors, ways of giving, the steering committee members, ways to get involved in the project, or any additional questions, see the brochure or contact the committee at vmp@gra.midco.net.

Visit the Grand Forks Parks & Recreation Foundation website for more info at http://gfparksfoundation.org/programs/veterans-memorial-park/

Credits:

Created with images by markvernik - "Patriotic"

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